There’s a lot going on, so every Wednesday, the DLCC is sending a roundup of the state legislative stories you might have missed. It’s September 15th, and here is the state of the states.
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- In more than half of the states, Republican legislators pushed through laws that permanently weakened the government’s ability to protect the public from the pandemic. Republicans have consistently put their own partisan power over public health.
- In Iowa, a federal judge ordered the state to halt enforcement of a Republican law that prevents school boards from requiring masks, saying the law substantially increased the risk of children with health conditions contracting COVID-19.
- In Florida, Republican Senate President Wilton Simpson replaced a key Democrat with an anti-abortion Republican as chair of a panel overseeing abortion legislation. This decision comes on the heels of Simpson saying Florida would likely follow Texas’ lead to pass an extreme anti-abortion law.
- In Pennsylvania, after Gov. Wolf withdrew his secretary of state nominee, citing desperate and baseless smears by Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, Corman decided to continue with the nomination to use it as a platform to spread lies about the 2020 election.
- Fed up with watching his party be overrun with extremists who oppose masks in schools — “a selfish refusal to take reasonable precautions” — physician and New Hampshire Republican Representative William Marsh officially switched parties and became a Democrat. That means Democrats have flipped two seats in the past week in the New Hampshire House!
- Insurrectionist and Colorado Senator Ron Hanks sent President Biden a letter saying he should be impeached and stating that he believed Biden was “a fraudulently installed agent under the influence of a foreign power” among other unhinged ramblings. Unfortunately, conspiracy theorist insurrectionists like this are everywhere in the legislature.
- Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said the Biden administration has an “obsession with vaccines” and claimed new vaccine requirements were “about control” and not about health care. This only makes sense if you’ve paid attention to exactly none of the science.
- The Arizona fraudit became a national laughingstock and now Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to outdo their Grand Canyon State counterparts. Senate Republicans voted to seek information that could identify millions of Pennsylvania’s registered voters to investigate Trump’s loss in the state. Would you trust the caucus that is following insurrectionist Senator Doug Mastriano’s lead with your social security number? Us either!
- Republican state Senator Lora Reinbold, from Alaska, was banned indefinitely from Alaska Airlines after clashing with staffers over the airline mask mandate. This means she had to be excused from attending floor votes for the rest of the year because she had no way to fly to and from the capital…
- Bus drivers in North Carolina can’t get kids to school on time because Republican lawmakers refused to approve a new budget that included higher salaries for bus drivers. This has led to a shortage of drivers and is just another example of working families bearing the burden of irresponsible Republican governance.
- The Illinois legislature approved an ambitious energy policy overhaul led by Democrats that sets its sights on bringing reliance on carbon down to zero and supports already existing energy alternatives in the state.
- The California legislature passed a vital piece of criminal justice reform, banning certain police holds that can lead to choking. Both chambers also backed legislation that will allow the licenses of problematic officers to be revoked.
- When California passes laws, other states in the nation soon follow. Here’s a roundup of all of the cutting-edge legislation California Democrats passed this year!
- In Maryland, Democrats have led the charge on establishing a bipartisan panel of Maryland delegates that will work toward building a racially equitable cannabis industry. This important work exists to prevent and rectify already established racial disparities in arrests when it comes to marijuana usage.
- Republicans are doubling down on their anti-vaccine and anti-mask positions. Keep an eye out for the continued rejection of these policies by voters across the country.